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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on February 26, 2024
2024-02-26 18:38

People’s Daily: Regarding China’s announcement of the visit of the President of Sierra Leone to China, can you tell us about the program and China’s expectation for the visit? How does China view its current relations with Sierra Leone?

Mao Ning: China and Sierra Leone share a traditional friendship. Over the past 50-plus years since our two countries established diplomatic relations, we have firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, carried out efficient cooperation in areas related to economic and social development, and maintained close coordination on international affairs. In particular, the people of the two countries have fought Ebola and COVID together, which further strengthened our bond.

During President Bio’s upcoming visit, President Xi Jinping will hold a welcome ceremony and banquet for him, and the two presidents will hold talks. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will meet with President Bio respectively. We believe that President Bio’s visit will inject new impetus into the all-round, in-depth growth of the relations between China and Sierra Leone and bring about more good outcomes of friendly cooperation.

China News Service: It’s reported that Belarus held elections of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly on February 25. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China noted that Belarus successfully held elections of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly. As the all-weather comprehensive strategic partner of Belarus, China respects the Belarusian people’s choice. We stand ready to work with Belarus to expand our cooperation across the board and advance our bilateral relationship.

AFP: According to a Taiwan official, the new Prime Minister of Tuvalu said that the relationship between Taiwan and Tuvalu is “firm and everlasting.” I have two questions. First, what’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment on Tuvalu’s recent election results? Second, what’s the Foreign Ministry’s view on the relations between Tuvalu and Taiwan?

Mao Ning: Upholding the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends. One hundred and eighty-three countries in the world have established diplomatic ties with China based on the one-China principle. A handful of countries who still have so-called “diplomatic ties” with the Taiwan region should choose to stand on the right side of history and make the right decision that truly serves their fundamental and long-term interests.

CCTV: It’s reported by the Washington Post that at the just concluded G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the US opposition to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza came under criticism from Brazil, Australia, South Africa and other parties, showing America’s increasing isolation on the issue. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: The escalation of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict has resulted in the devastating humanitarian situation in Gaza. Nearly 30,000 civilians were killed and about 1.9 million people were displaced. An immediate ceasefire is the prevailing call and overwhelming consensus of the international community. The US should lend an ear and take concrete actions to play a constructive role for the ceasefire and deescalation of the humanitarian crisis.

Reuters: Media reports and satellite images show that China has recently reinstalled a barrier at the mouth of Huangyan Dao. Could we confirm this? What is the purpose of the barrier? Is the barrier likely to become a permanent fixture at the shoal?

Mao Ning: Huangyan Dao has always been China’s territory. In response to a series of moves by the Philippines in the waters of Huangyan Dao that infringe on China’s sovereignty, China is compelled to take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

China Review News: It’s reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in an interview with the UK-based Financial Times decried “China-phobia” among Western countries and emphasized that Malaysia upholds neutrality and independence and would not “pick a quarrel” with China for the US. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We noted the reports. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s statement reflects the vast developing countries’ aspiration for upholding independence and seeking development.

China’s development provides opportunities for the world and does not pose threat to anyone. China is committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, and opposes bloc confrontation and picking sides. We will continue to pursue friendship and cooperation with all other countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, call for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

TASS: Last Friday, the US Department of the Treasury added nine Chinese companies to its sanction list for helping Russia evade sanctions from the US and its allies. The US Department of Commerce also imposed export controls on eight Chinese companies. What is China’s response?

Mao Ning: On the Ukraine crisis, China maintains an objective and impartial position, strives for peace talks and plays a constructive role for the political settlement of the crisis. The normal trade and economic cooperation between China and Russia is not targeted at any third party or subject to any interference by any third party. China firmly opposes illegal unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies and will take necessary measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

TASS: Last Friday, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said in an interview that Ukraine is ready to support the US in a fight against China, the DPRK, Iran or any other countries. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: One important lesson from the Ukraine crisis is that bloc confrontation cannot bring security. As a responsible major country, China will continue to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

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